Miller, M. J., Allison, J. J., Schmitt, M. R., Ray, M. N., Funkhouser, E. M., Cobaugh, D. J., . . . LaCivita, C. (2010). Using single-item health literacy screening questions to identify patients who read written nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine information provided at pharmacies. Journal of Health Communication, 15(4), 413-427.
Our goal was to assess the relationships between single-item health literacy screening questions and reading prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) written medicine information (WMI) provided at pharmacies. The health literacy of 382 patients from primary care physician practices in Alabama was estimated using validated health literacy screening questions related to understanding written medical information (SQ1); confidence in completing medical forms alone (SQ2); and need for assistance in reading hospital materials (SQ3). Reading WMI was measured by a “Yes” response to the question, “Often the drug store gives you written information such as pamphlets or handouts along with your prescription. Have you read about the risks of NSAIDs in this written material provided by the drug store?” Relationships were assessed using generalized linear latent and mixed models. Two-thirds (67.6%) of patients read WMI. Higher estimated health literacy was associated with increased odds of reading WMI. Adjusted odds ratios (95% CI) were 2.08 (1.08-4.03); 2.09 (1.12-3.91); and 1.98 (1.04-3.77) using SQ1-SQ3. Current WMI may be unable to meet the needs of those with inadequate health literacy. Health literacy screening questions can be used to triage patients at risk for not reading WMI so they can be assisted with supplemental educational strategies.